By: Daniel Chang, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Miami Herald's article discussing the Public Charge Rule highlights FHJP's research analyzing the rule's impact in causing children to lose critical benefits, including health coverage and SNAP. The article also features Dr. Fred Anderson, FHJP Board member, discussing how the proposed rule changes are adding to immigrants' fears and raising the likelihood that their medical conditions will worsen.
Advocates Condemn Trump Administration’s Latest Attack on Immigrant Families
For Immediate Release: October 5, 2018
Contact: Matt Childers, email@example.com
Miami, Florida — The Trump administration moved forward this morning with plans to fundamentally alter how immigration officials determine what constitutes a “public charge,” which could result in denial of lawful permanent residence or entry to the U.S. At 8:50 a.m. the administration posted the new rule for “public inspection” and announced that the rule will be formally published in the Federal Register on October 10. This will commence a 60-day public comment period ending December 10, 2018.
The proposed rule, as with the draft released on Sept 22, 2018 , radically alters a 100-plus year old immigration law by significantly expanding the types of public benefits that could be included in a public charge determination. For decades, the only benefits that could be considered were cash assistance or long term institutional care. No other benefits could be part of the calculation. Under the new rule, health care benefits including Medicaid and Medicare low income subsidies for Part D (prescription drugs), housing assistance housing or Section 8 and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) could be considered. Also, the new rule, for the first time, adopts a new income test for households to overcome a public charge test.
(Miami) - A draconian proposal by the Trump administration to overhaul how immigration officials determine what constitutes a “public charge” (which could result in denial of lawful permanent residence or entry to the U.S.) was announced on Saturday night. There will be a 60 day public comment period.
The proposed new rule radically revamps longstanding immigration law. For the first time, immigration officials could consider use of critical non-cash benefits intended to safeguard the health, nutrition, housing and economic security of America's low-income families in making public charge determinations. States with large immigrant populations like Florida will be disproportionately impacted.
Miriam Harmatz, Co-executive Director of the Florida Health Justice Project, explained that this represents a major shift from long-standing policy in which the only benefits considered in a public charge determination are cash assistance or long-term institutional care. "The chilling effect will result in Florida’s families and children being poorer and sicker.”
Local public officials across the country have been speaking out against the long rumored rule, and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution on 9/5/18 urging the federal government to maintain the status quo. Citing data provided by Dr. Matt Childers, Director of Policy Research for the Florida Health Justice Project, the Commission’s Resolution opposed any federal regulatory change that would negatively impact immigrant families.
In observing that “this is a disgraceful attack on immigrants legally living and working in our communities,” Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition, also noted that nothing changes until the Administration reviews and responds to public comments. She urged all members of the public to submit comments. “This is an attack on the entire community.”
Jonathan Fried, Director of WeCount, similarly decried the proposal’s impact. “Key sectors of Florida’s economy, including agriculture and tourism, are dependent on immigrant workers who earn less than a living wage. Their families will forego Medicaid, food stamps, and housing assistance - services to which they are legally entitled - jeopardizing their health, safety and security, as well as Florida’s economic sustainability."
For more information on the rule’s impact in Florida and how to submit comments, contact Matt Childers.
The Florida Health Justice Project, a new nonprofit advocacy organization, seeks to improve access to affordable healthcare for Floridians, with a focus on vulnerable low-income populations.
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